As a holiday gift and follow up to my previous post, I’ve made the Holiday Collectibles page of the Thrifter’s Field Guide temporarily public. This will give you an idea of what that part of the website looks like (and, as usual, your feedback is appreciated and questions welcome). Below is some additional information to help you in your treasure hunt based on my favorite finds and past research. Please share your find and tips!
House of Hatten / Vaillancourt
Carved wooden figures, occasionally chalkware. Folk art appeal. Detailed and high quality. HoH = House of Hatten. Belsnickle style Santas usually. I have found these for $3-10.
Clothtique Possible Dreams
Mixed media, high-quality clothing and accessories, nicely carved. “PD” on bottom of foot (not sure if that is included on all; if anyone knows, please comment). I usually find these for $3-5
Heartwood Creek / Jim Shore
Santas, snowmen, angels. Crafty/folk art appearance. The larger are more valuable and typically the only ones I look up. They have names on the bottom, and some are in higher demand.
MR. CHRISTMAS WORLD'S FAIR
There are Mr Christmas items that are not from the World’s Fair series. Some of these are good to resell, others not as much. The World’s Fair animated miniatures are great for resale. I usually get those for between $5-15. The boxes are recognizable by their color and appearance.
Vintage tree toppers that light up, and especially those that spin, can be quite valuable. On the Guide page, a color-changing star is shown – sold for $65 paid around $5. However, I recently sold a brand new in package, vintage light up spinning tree topper for over $210. I paid $2.50 for it (in my blog I said $5, but forgot I had gotten it half off).
Certain sets of vintage lights, rotating tree stands, and talking Christmas tree kits (e.g. Douglas Fir) can be good buys. Also vintage aluminum tinsel trees.
Complete sets of Christmas themed dinnerware are popular, particular 12 days of Christmas. Certain other serving pieces based on brand.
These vary greatly both in resale value and thrift store pricing. Look them up. Don’t pass up the Italian putz figures. These tend to get priced high at the thrift stores and are often broken, incomplete. Certain individual figures and partial sets are valuable.
GERMAN Christmas ornaments, postcards, figurines
Most of the stores I go into put ornaments in clear plastic bags, regardless if they are glass or not. There are mercury glass and other valuable glass ornaments, but I don’t look for them as I expect them to be broken in the bags.
Certain Hallmark ornaments are good to resell. The stores near me sell individually boxed ornaments for $3-$10 apiece. There are limited ornaments valuable for resale on eBay. Click the link on the page to review the characters that bring in the most money. Since the stores tend to go over these looking for what they think is valuable and most are not, I only look at these occasionally. Also, large vintage jingle bells, which I have never found, bring in big bucks.
I use a printed spreadsheet to track measurements when I list clothing. I have uploaded a PDF in the Clothing section of Links and Resources.
A new section has been added to walk you through getting started becoming a seller on eBay. The following explanation of what the membership area is about is included:
The Thrifter's Field Guide is set up to help you learn what to buy to make money. There are items you might not even think to buy because they don't look like much of anything often or don't realize people are willing to buy used or flawed. It is categorized by type of item, because that is how the thrift stores organize things. So, if you'd like to learn more about selling dishware, for example, you can navigate to the dishware page to get an idea of the types of things that sell, with a visual reference of photos of items we have sold to help you recognize them, and a list of actual sales we have made. Some pages include additional tips about buying and selling categories of items and/or pre-formatted research links to help you get even more familiar with the category (e.g. on the Cameras page: Click here to view recent sales of film cameras sold for parts. If you cannot test cameras, you can still research what cameras might be worth buying to sell as-is). You can research one area at a time or look through the sales photos and amounts to see which categories we frequently sell in and items that sell for the most money. If you're getting ready to walk into a store, you can pull up the page for the area you are shopping in and take a quick look to refresh what brands to look at or what the high dollar items look like.
The biggest part of making money on eBay, in our opinion, is just buying the right stuff. We are sharing our years of experience with you to shorten the amount of time it will take for you to become a full-time seller too.
In the last couple months, over 300 sales and 150 new photos have been added to The Thrifter's Field Guide database of items to sell. There are now over 2,800 sales and 1,550 photos included for reference for what to sell on eBay. Other links, resources, and information has also continued to be added to both the Thrifter's Field Guide (members only) and Links and Resources (free) sections of the website.
We've been busy buying and selling but are always available to answer questions!
Yesterday I sold a Christmas decoration for over $210. I paid $5 for it and it sold within five days, originally listed for $68. This is a GREAT time to sell holiday decor. Some of our favorite items to sell are included in the Guide on the Holiday and Seasonal page. Certain items are worth quite alot. I have copied research links from the Holiday page of the Thrifter's Field Guide to give you a head start on some things to look for.